In July 2021, our family of four moved from South Carolina, USA to Maastricht, Netherlands for a one year family “adventure”. A few months later, a fellow UWC school mom, Detti, posted about the Tapijn parkrun, and I thought, at the very least, we should try it once. Around this time, my oldest son, Caleb (10), was interested in running a bit more, so we decided to make it a family outing along with our good friend, Melissa who lives permanently in the Netherlands.
I’d heard about parkrun many years ago while reading about Chrissie Wellington and had looked them up when visiting London, but I never participated in one until the Tapijn parkrun.
I love the concept – providing a consistent time and place for a group of people to run a course but taking out the “race” expense and uber-competitive atmosphere. It is a wonderful way to help our boys find joy in running. Sometimes only one or two of us run. Sometimes all four of us run. We never “make” the kids do it but always ask if they are interested and love that this environment makes it fun for them. When our youngest son does participate, he is often one of the last to finish and will incorporate helping the volunteers pick up the cones as part of his final lap. It is a nice way to feel okay with being a little younger/slower. I am also a race director back in South Carolina and know the work it takes to put on even a non-race such as this. I am so grateful for the volunteers who make it happen.
The Tapijn parkrun course is really pretty. It passes old parts of the city wall as well as many animals! There is a large aviary with song birds as well as a group of deer that you run past three times. As a way to get through the runs, our boys took the time to name each deer. The location happens to be one of our favorite parks in the city, so the parkruns add even more to our memories there. We also enjoy seeing all of the dogs out in the park with their owners. Our youngest son, Mason (8), especially gets an energy boost when he spots an oncoming dog.
We also like these runs because we feel a part of the community here. We get to know people little by little who live and work around Maastricht. As the weather continues to improve, I hope that you will join our family and expand that community.
Sarah Hays is currently living in Maastricht with her husband and two sons until July 2022, when they will return to the US. She loves to travel, experience new places and make new connections. You can read about her family’s one year adventure on Instagram.
Afgelopen weekend was het stralend weer en dat kun je zien op de foto’s: een rondje langs (bijna) alle parkruns. Hier is een selectie van foto´s van onze evenementen.
Anne Hanley is blij dat ze weer terug is bij parkrun na haar behandeling tegen borstkanker en haar herstel daarna. Ze vertelt ons hoe het voelde om weer naar parkrun te gaan. Ik begon met parkrun omdat het een manier was om weer regelmatig wat aan beweging te doen en omdat het iets was…